Pioneer One (2010) HD

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Pioneer One

A mysterious spaceship has entered Earth's atmosphere. A US Department of Homeland Security investigation has uncovered a live human being in a Soviet space suit in an unstable condition. A note in Russian, found at the crash site, claims the man is the child of cosmonauts living at a base on Mars.

Download Season 1 - All Episodes (720p Matroska)
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Episode 6: "War of the World"

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Taylor prepares to go to the public with Yuri's story, and everyone discovers the consequences of their actions in the conclusion to Pioneer One's first season.

Pioneer One is a serialized drama produced and distributed online through VODO and the DISCO network. Downloaded almost 2,000,000 times and winner for Best Drama Pilot at the 2010 New York Television Festival, the show is independently produced and financed by viewer donations.

Episode 5: "Sea Change"

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When an unannounced visitor breaks in to the Calgary base with just days left in the Quarantine, tensions are at an all-time high. The fate of Yuri and everyone on Tom Taylor's team is about to be decided.

Episode 4: "Triangular Diplomacy"

As the media begins to question the story about the crashed satellite, Secretary McClellan starts to play hardball with the Russians in pursuit of his own truth. But everything hinges on what Yuri, the frightened boy at the center of it all, might have to say…

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Episode 3: "Alone in the Night"

Quarantined to the Calgary base for two weeks, Taylor and his team have bought time to get answers from the supposed Martian cosmonaut. But who can get him to talk?

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Episode 2: "The Man From Mars"

Mars expert Dr. Zachary Walzer (Jack Haley) fights to prove the validity of the Mars story. Can he convince the government to mount a manned mission to Mars? Agent in charge Tom Taylor (James Rich) faces pressure from both the Canadians and his own superiors, and has to make a call.

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Episode 1: "Earthfall" (Pilot)

An object in the sky spreads radiation over North America. Fearing terrorism, U.S. Homeland Security agents are dispatched to investigate and contain the damage. What they discover will have drastic implications.

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The Pioneer One Team

In late January 2010, writer Josh Bernhard pitched his Untitled Mars Show idea to director Bracey Smith. In February, the pair quit their jobs and got down to work on the pilot episode of Pioneer One, finished by May with a budget of $6000. The enormous response to its release on VODO prompted them to continue producing the first season with viewer-donated support.
The Pioneer One team is based mostly in and around New York, NY. At its core is a group of filmmakers who met at the avant-garde cinema department at Binghamton University in Binghamton, NY. With P1, they've amassed an amazing group of talented performers and crew, all willing to work for free because of their belief in the project.

Pioneer One

  • At 22:04 on 14 Dec 2010

    Episode One: This 35-minute sci-fi pilot revolves around the discovery of an object from space, a lost cosmonaut and the U.S. government’s efforts to contain the situation. The production values are impressive given the low budget, and the scripting, acting and direction are solid. If you enjoyed the slightly talky but eerie Quatermass series, Pioneer One would probably be right up your alley.

  • At 19:42 on 23 Apr 2011

    Here’s a bold statement: episode three of Pioneer One may go down in history as one of the most program-revolutionizing episodes in a series, ever. In this episode we saw a complete gear shift – characters were fleshed out and brought to life in a hitherto unexplored fashion, giving far more depth to the show on the whole. The actors, whether under some adjustment of direction or simply achieving comfort in their roles, seemed to blossom and take a giant step forward towards achieving their potential. In some cases, such potential was revealed where it had previously not been clear. Before I go any further into my review, I must disclose two things. First, this review does contain spoilers, and I will not clearly label them. So if you have not yet watched it, stop reading and stream/download it now – then proceed. Second, unlike with the previous two episodes I was completely sober when watching this third installment. See? No need for an intervention. I have already lauded the character development and acting in this episode, and these elements will comprise the bulk of this review. Why? Because the story was not greatly advanced. Plot took a back seat to “getting to know you”, and this is more or less OK. The end result was an episode that was thoroughly engaging regardless. My only concern is that what plot was advanced seemed to be mostly sub-plot – and I would hate to see the primary storyline diluted by too much flotsam and jetsam. There was nothing inherently bad about these asides and incidentals. However, some struck me hit or miss. Some I am fairly certain will have a major impact on future episodes. Time will tell. One example of such hit or miss storytelling was the puzzling glimpse into Tom Taylor’s personal life. After a cursory and somewhat clumsy conversation between Tom and Dr. Walzer about Walzer’s failed marriage, Tom was suddenly desperate to escape quarantine to go to his rather impatient and mostly unlovable significant other to pop the question. No doubt this was intended to grip us, as it was left a cliffhanger, but it seemed so hastily thrown-together as to feel like a non-sequitur. I found myself not the least bit emotionally involved in the scenario. And while I’m speaking of Tom Taylor, let me state that while your mileage may vary, to me he went from being one of the most, if not the most, likable characters on the show to something of an unsympathetic dick. It’s the only character whose progression, in my opinion, ended up a regression. Case in point: in this episode he delivered the worst pep talk in history to a distraught Jane Campbell when she was doubting her suitability as companion to the stricken “Martian boy”, Yuri. His idea of motivation was to tell her, “Sure, there are tons of people who are better than you. But you’re the one we’re stuck with, m’kay?” Now, I have already pointed out that he seems unprepared and unsure of how to handle the situation in which he’s at the helm. Understandable. Maybe that sequence was intended to underline this. And, while I’m proposing excuses, maybe the whole rush-to-marriage-proposal thing was meant to illustrate how fed up he is with being in charge. Maybe his sudden desperation to escape quarantine was, whatever his ultimate motive for so doing, more or less symbolic of his need to escape the turn his life has suddenly taken. But at this juncture you may be asking yourself, unless you were good enough to watch the episode before reading this review, “Who is Jane?”. She’s a new character brought abruptly onto the scene to help keep Yuri company, and to perhaps elicit from him some intelligible responses to the inevitable onslaught of questioning to which he’ll be subjected when he’s recovered more. In a nutshell, she’s a nurse who’s experienced working with sick kids, and she happens to have a passable grasp of the Russian language. (Though this was never fully illustrated.) She is, quite simply, the most stunning element of the show thus far, and if the preview of episode four is to believed, she will (thankfully) play a much larger role in plot to come. She is well and believably acted, but more importantly, she’s identifiable and you cannot help but relate to her on any of a number of levels. And for my money the best scene in the entire series thus far is her attempt at storytelling, guiding the clearly frightened and suffering Yuri through a little good old-fashioned escapism. It wasn’t not the first time someone reached out to him with a personal touch – more on that in a bit – but it’s the most touching outreach. Combining a simple fairy tale with something I can only describe as interpretive dance (and this is the only time you’ll ever hear me mention interpretive dance in a positive light), she came across as graceful, almost ethereal, and you couldn’t help but fall in love. And, for what it’s worth, it was one of the least choreographed-looking dance sequences I can recall seeing in TV or film. The end result was a totally organic scene. Since we’re on the topic of reaching out to Yuri, let’s discuss the brief but important conversation Dr. Walzer had with the young lad. Walzer veered sharply from his Vizzini-esque path in this episode, becoming someone it’s possible to truly like. During his little chat with Yuri we saw a side of him that’s not yet been highlighted. We were given a chance to better understand what motivates him. And the show is better for having one of its central characters clearly explained. But that’s not the only case of “meet and greet” with already-established players. Remember the guy with the emo haircut? Turns out he’s not so much emo, but actually just a nerd, and a fun nerd, at that. (He never stood a chance at being hip; he was named after Adlai Stevenson.) Why it took three episodes to learn more about him I can only speculate – however, getting to know him brings about another layer of polish and greater chance of immersion to the series. Perhaps it’s coincidental that it was Jane who brought him out of his shell. Then again, maybe not. One last instance of character development, as well as a shining example of acting vastly improved from the previous episode, came in the form of the Canadian liaison, whose acting was stiff and actually distracting in episode two. In this episode, however, we were shown more of his character – a character who continues to assert his importance to Tom verbally, but more or less rolls over when told. And finally, this was brought to life with better-delivered dialog and body language. Hell, he even made a witty remark. A vast improvement. “Vast improvement” is actually the key phrase when it comes to the entirety of episode three. And considering Pioneer One was a solid show to begin with, that’s a feat. As I pointed out in my review of the first two episodes Pioneer One began with much room for growth. It has made good on its promise and grown. I am greatly looking forward to episode four and hope you’ll join me both in watching it when it’s released, and in reading my future reviews of the series.

  • At 16:42 on 15 Mar 2012

    Today we’re revisiting a series that I kinda gushed over last year. Since reviewing the pilot, Pioneer One has since been able to crowdfund five more episodes for six in total, they won the drama category for 2010′s NYTVF (and should’ve won pretty much everything else. Illuminati Brothers? Greg And Donny? Really?), and their first two episodes as of January 2011 received over 1.7 million downloads. So, for the equivalent of an hour-long television pilot, they had more viewers than either of the first two season premieres of Breaking Bad. According to their blog, it sounds like creator Josh Bernhard and director Bracey Smith are tiring of discussion over their novel distribution methods—hint: torrents are effective! I’ll skip that. Let’s talk the show itself. Are you watching it? You should be. You should be talking about it. When people say, “there’s nothing good on the web,” or “you can’t do drama on the web,” you point them directly to this series and you say, “shut up.” With each episode, small revelations, things that on the surface appear mundane, have major and lasting consequences. A single word near the end of Episode 4 (by this time, our running time is deep into TV Miniseries lengths) and with no shocked response, no intense musical cues, everything you thought about the series changes. Political intrigue is shown through devil-in-the-details moments, from using old immigration agreements and laws as ammunition for forcing the Russians into backing down to simply not answering the phone until they’re damn good and ready to buy time. Humanity shown through old clips of a character begging Congress for funding to go to Mars because “it’s the next step,” and the power of simple human contact for someone who may have never felt it before. We talk a big game about the web overtaking TV, about the creative freedom it provides. And while only a semi-full picture of its ratings are known for the first two episodes, less than 1,500 people have watched Pioneer One‘s fourth episode on YouTube, released on October 4th, 2011. You want us to overtake TV? You want to talk about how it can provide something that TV never could or would? Viewers are gonna have to do better than that. We’re going to have to have the balls to bring it up at the water cooler. We’re going to need to be willing to discuss it at least the way we would a Sundance film. We need to take the “just” out of “it’s just on the web.” When someone produces something that at its core stands up against anything on any medium, we as advocates for our particular medium better step up. Not just for a pilot. But continuous. I’m not going to lie — that Pioneer One‘s producers are unable to make this their full time, somewhat lucrative job pisses me off. Doubly so because I’m partly to blame. I forgot about them. I talked it up but I didn’t champion it. It was only through dumb luck talking with Marc a week or two ago that I was reminded about the series. They’ve made it on the summer issue of Moviemaker Magazine. They won best drama pilot in 2010 for NYTVF. I gave it a full on, no-strings-attached win review. What more do you want, a cookie for watching? Fine, I’ll start baking. We want great dramas on the web, ones that are independently made and don’t sink to the lowest common denominator? We only need to get up off our asses and watch and talk about the ones that’re already here to those who don’t necessarily watch series on the web. It’s entirely that simple.


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on December 16, 2011 at 2:01am

@ANDY G We are working on DVDs and artwork. In the meantime we welcome it if people want to create their own and make it available.

@T_X Thank you! And DiLeo will play an interesting role in the future.

@SCIFIFAN I'm glad you enjoyed the show. A few points about the ad:

a) The show was always designed to follow as closely as we could the standard television format, including commercial breaks. All of the episodes were written for there to be a narrative break in the middle. If we didn't have this ad, there would still be something to break it up.

b) The ad has no surreptitious influence on the actual content.

c) While it's true the show was mainly financed through viewer donations (for which we are humbled and immensely grateful), we never met our funding goal. As a result, a lot of the show was paid for on credit and from personal investment. If you begrudge us an opportunity to help pay off the debt we've incurred to bring this show to you, then I invite you not to watch.

I'm amazed every time I have to explain this.

Andy G

on December 16, 2011 at 12:21am

Looks Awesome.

Now that all 6 episodes are available, people might want to burn to dvd.

Is there any intention to make full front and back dvd cover art for this series ?



on December 15, 2011 at 5:43am

What, and still only two comments so far? At first being so impatient, but now so quiet... Hey, community wake up, these guys deserve a round of applause!


on December 15, 2011 at 5:39am

First of all, congratulations for finishing your first season of Pioneer One!!! You did it, you managed to pull off six amazing, conclusive, exciting, thought-provoking episodes! Thanks a lot for all the hard work you spent and your kindness and trust in the community to release this under a CC license (I hope this trust will also be rewarded with some more funds during the next weeks so that you are able to reach your funding goal). And you didn't betray your supporters and community's trust either - not everyone has the long lasting motivation to make the next episode better than the previous one (especially if the funding is not quite going as expected). I hope you are doing some good partying at the moment, you deserve it :) (and I hope you will make a blog post with some nice and funny pictures of this :D).

And wow, what a finale! Episode 6 really had by far the best plot of all episodes so far in my opinion. What a plot twist, I totally didn't see that coming. Nevertheless it didn't seem implausible at all.

I especially liked how you played with some nonlinear narrative in the beginning (and Captain Benton's plaster was a clever, little detail to make it non-confusing even for non-native English speakers). And the action, of course (Joshua Wynter was such a cool, fitting guy at that part)! I have to admit, I can't quite recall what actually happened during every single previous episode plot wise - and in my opinion the last few episodes got a little "dry" (I mean, you revealed very early that it is possible this guy is from Mars, so as a viewer you always knew, yeah, he's probably from Mars, so all the character's arguing about whether he could be from Mars or not seemed a little lengthy plot wise - although for showing the characters relationships and personalities these dialogues were great). So some real, unexpected action was a welcome change :D. And yaiy, the wise man was there again, I really like his charism and deep dialogues with Tom Taylor - although their scenes are usually very lengthy, I don't really find them tiring. And at ~13:00 your make-up people did a great job - jeez, they look as if they didn't sleep at all and had been crying for hours before. At ~34:00 I have to bitch a little. In all the other scenes of this episode you did such a good job with smooth transitions/cuts between camera angles/perspectives, but here wow - I think actually Walzer is the guy from Mars, he turned his head by some dozen degrees within the blink of an eye a couple of times. Despite from that scene I was very, very pleased with the different shots, the close-ups, the playing with lightning, colours, focus, even dust (like at 4:06). It's very artistic and looks very professional and together with the music and awesome acting does a great job in triggering certain emotions at the viewers, I think (I had to compare it with the camera movements and settings in the first episode - it's nothing alike!).

I'd have just one wish if you are going to make a second season: Use DiLeo a little more often and in even more comical scenes. I think you are not using this character in his full potential. The plot so far was usually very tense, very serious. DiLeo is the perfect guy to give the viewer a break, to be able to relax and smile a little from time to time.

I hope you guys had a lot of fun making this first season of Pioneer One. I certainly enjoyed watching it a lot! Thanks again for everything! If you are going to continue making so much progress as you did during this first season - then I'm kind of getting scared :D. You are awesome!


on December 14, 2011 at 11:44pm

Well done! I'm not talking about the story although I enjoyed it immensely. I'm talking about the way VODO found a new way to gather eyeballs for advertisers by claiming to provide viewer supported programs instead of advertising supported programs. And then eased advertising into the programs anyway. PT Barnum would be proud.


on December 13, 2011 at 10:03pm

Here we go...


on December 13, 2011 at 10:59am

Dec 13..


on December 13, 2011 at 10:26am

Waiting ....


on December 10, 2011 at 1:27am

Still rockin


on December 02, 2011 at 9:09pm

Done =)


on December 02, 2011 at 8:47pm

@EKLEM0, I suggest contacting [email protected]


on December 02, 2011 at 6:19pm

The torrent-link for episode two, 720p-version, doesn't seem to work (

Anyone now what happened or how to fix it? I'm using Deluge to download.


on December 01, 2011 at 5:09pm

Can't wait till december 13. Great series. Love scifi, the way you guy's do it. Keep on going


on December 01, 2011 at 5:10am

December 13!


on December 01, 2011 at 2:51am

Love it! Hope to see Episode 6 soon.


on November 26, 2011 at 5am

Love what you guys have done with Pioneer One.

I've just created a trailer for my new sci fi webseries, 'Third Base'.

It follows a group of teenagers as they become stranded on Mars.

Please check out the trailer and vote for us the Movie Extra WebFest - to win a $100k production budget!


on November 19, 2011 at 6:06pm

Merci bcp pour ce 5ème épisode! Continuez, vous avez tout mon soutien,car non seulement j'apprécie la démarche, mais en plus, c'est très bien fait vu le budget...encore bravo!
(Thank you very much for this 5th episode! Go on, you have all my support, because not only I appreciate step, but on top of that, it is very well made seen the budget...Still bravo!)


on November 17, 2011 at 2:53am

Excellent Show!


on November 15, 2011 at 5:05am

just found out and its great


on November 14, 2011 at 6:13am

sorry jejeje my name is Arq. Cristian Gordillo Jimenez =)

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